Laos Restricted/Dangerous Areas

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by Pgt066, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. I am a total novice with regards to Laos, so please excuse my newbie questions.

    I am aware of the inherent risks of operating in a third world communist country, to include poppy, bad guys, and UXO, but I would like some information on anyplaces that are restricted to tourists, considered too dodgy to venture into. Specifically around the PDJ (Plain of Jars).

    I am a big aviation war buff, and really interested in Air America operations in Laos. My goal is to spend time in Laos later this year exploring parts of the country by dirt bike. I want to hunt down some of these imfamous Lima Sites (Airfields used by the CIA), and look for some specific aircraft crash sites around the PDJ. After some research I have all the Lat Longs for my areas of interest. Hopefully with a gps, and some luck I just might be able to find something interesting.

    I am really interested in going to place that use to be called Lima Site 20A (Alternate). It is approximately 80nm north of VT near a place called Ban Nam (Name off a Nam Era Map)N19.11.30 E102.55.30.

    I would love to hear from any of you real experienced Laos riders on riding around this area.

    Thank you

  2. Lima Site 20A should be Long Tien (Long Cheng)
    This is in the Xaysomboune special "restricted" zone.
    As far as I can gather it is somewhat easier to get access in Xaysomboune nowadays.
    An Aussie company is building a large gold mine "Phou Bia" near Phou Bia, the highest mountain in Laos.
    A group of American riders have just come back from doing the Phonsavan – Pakxan road, which skirts well to the east of the restricted zone & claim they encountered no checkpoints.
    However to get to Long Cheng, you need to go in from the west end, by Tha Heua. The turn here is well marked with a huge highways department sign, saying Xaysomboune (& Phou Bia goldmine I think.) Go in here & around 80 kms & there should be a turn off left (north) just a few kms before Pha Valo, for the road to Long Cheng.
    I’m not aware of anyone who has succeeded in actually riding into Long Tien, as this particular spot is nearly always off limits, so most likely you won’t succeed trying to get in there just for a look. There's also a reasonable possibility you could be arrested & thrown out of the country for sniffing round a very sensitive area (some journalists got caught in this general area here last year & had a lot of unpleasant trouble to leave.)
    The only person who may have been up in there is Stan from Lao Photo
    So you could try him for some info.
    Pls let us know how you go, when & if you do it.

    Keep the power on
  3. David,
    Thanks for the insight. After some research I realize now why it is a restricted area. It sounds like they are still fighting there, not to mention laying landmines along trails. I will find some other areas to prowl around.

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